PHUKET CITY: Phuket City Police have arrested five of nine youths wanted for the savage murder of Keittirat Longnawa, a 31-year-old transsexual and glue addict who was beaten and had his throat slashed in Rassada on January 31.
Police are still searching for four more suspects in the case. All nine suspects, including two girls, ranged in age from 14 to 21, police said.
Phuket Police Station Superintendent Col Nos Sawetalek told reporters that around 8 pm on January 31, a group of 10 youths gathered to sniff glue in a forested area about 100 meters off Soi Honsaitong in Rassada Village 3.
While intoxicated, one of the teens, a 16-year-old, became incensed at K. Keittirat. Taking a kitchen knife carried by one of the girls, he stabbed the transsexual, a native of Ao Luk District in Krabi.
Police said they could not confirm a report in the Thai-language press that the reason for the youngster’s s anger was that he was convinced that the ladyboy had used witchcraft to put a spell on him that caused stomach pain.
Whatever the motive, after teen attacked the victim the other teens all joined him in a frenzy, taking turns stabbing, kicking and hitting the victim with sticks, Col Nos said.
The initial assailant was one of the youths arrested.
K. Keittirat’s bloody corpse was discovered the following afternoon by a villager, who informed police. The victim was clad only in jeans, with a brassiere, address book, sandals and two bloodied bags containing glue nearby.
Police said the body was later identified by a friend, who revealed that K. Keittirat had lived in Soi Mordoo (“Fortune teller Street”), also in Rassada.
All of the suspects were known to police as habitual glue users, although none had been convicted of a violent crime before.
The five arrested have been charged with conspiring to commit murder.
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